The last Rock Star Review that I want to share is a strategy that I have shared before. However, today, I want to share how the same strategy can be used to prepare students for a big assessment. The strategy is called Four Corners. (You can see the most recent post I wrote about it here.)
Here’s how it works:
1. Choose a multiple choice problem to present to the class based on a concept with which the students have struggled. I typically choose problems from recent formative assessments where a low percentage of the students responded correctly. The best questions to use are the ones where the distractors represent common computational or conceptual errors.
2. Divide students into four equal-sized groups. (Need a quick tool, try the desk tags to the right. Group students by number. Grab a copy of them here.)
3. Once students arrive at their designated corner, present the question and answer choices. Then assign each group to an answer choice.
4. Groups then complete the following:
a. Answer the question and agree on the correct response.
b. If their assigned answer choice is the correct answer:
– Determine places where other students may take the wrong path while solving the problem.
– Decide how to coach other students to avoid these mistakes.
– Prepare at least two incorrect paths and coaching tips for each.
c. If their assigned answer choice is not the correct answer:
– Determine why the answer choice is incorrect.
– Decide how a student could be guided back to the correct solution path.
– Prepare at least one coaching tip for each.
5. Have groups share their findings with the class as a whole. Allow students to ask and answer questions as needed.
6. Validate the correct answer and add any additional information or tips the students may need to be more successful with the assessment item in the future.
As a variation, you can accomplish the same goal using “characters” to represent the answer choices. This is always kind of fun because students will call the characters by name instead of the using the multiple choice letters. (Note: Make the activity even more engaging by using the names of teachers from your team.) See the example below.
Free Resource Alert: The visual I used above is available here. To use it with your students, insert the picture into a PowerPoint slide. Then insert a text box with the responses you want to highlight in the white spaces.